Pregnancy is one of the human body's most impressive achievements. Whilst pregnant women are often said to have a glow about them, the enormous strain that growing new human life puts on the entire body should not be underestimated. It is vital that the body is nourished and taken care of not only for the benefit of the new baby but, equally importantly, for the mother.
Following my own experience of pregnancy, childbirth and early motherhood, I am a big advocate of maternal health, both physical and mental. Taking time out for pregnancy massage is not only beneficial for the body but also for the mind. It carves out space for the expectant mother to relax and rest, which is an ever-growing challenge in the modern world.
It allows her space to quieten her mind, focus on the growing connection with her baby and to help to prepare her for the coming weeks and months. The benefits of taking care of an expectant mother’s mental wellbeing cannot be stressed enough and this is a sacred time where she is the sole focus, before sharing her life with her new baby. I work holistically, taking the whole person and their circumstances into account and aim to support the mother’s emotional journey alongside the hands-on massage by listening attentively to any thoughts and any concerns she may have, and to signpost her to other relevant services or information where appropriate.
Physiological and psychological benefits of pregnancy massage include:
increased circulation, boosting the flow of oxygen and nutrients travelling to the placenta and increasing blood flow to all tissues of the body, benefiting both the mother and the baby.
improved lymphatic flow, which helps to remove waste products from the tissues of the body and can help to prevent fluid retention - a common issue for women during the later stages of pregnancy in particular.
boosts metabolism which can slow down a little during pregnancy.
helps to soothe tension and relax the body, reducing aches, pains and stress on the weight-bearing joints.
targets muscle cramps and spasms, especially in the lower back, hips and legs.
helps to maintain muscle tone, strengthening muscular and structural realignment after the birth.
helps to target and ease pains experienced during labour.
can help to encourage optimal foetal positioning.
From only seven weeks old, the foetus can experience touch. I am a strong believe in the power of touch not only during pregnancy but also for the mother and her newborn baby postnatally. I work with an understanding of the ever-developing nature of pregnancy and continually adapt my practise to suit the mother’s experience as well as the physiological stage of her pregnancy.
The needs of the mother tend to fluctuate throughout pregnancy and each session begins with a consultation to determine the aims and to maximise the benefits of the treatment as well as to check in with how my client is feeling and to give them an opportunity to raise any concerns that may be relevant. There are some situations where it is not advisable to go ahead with a treatment. If there are any contraindications to treatment, GP or midwife approval may be required or treatment may be postponed until a suitable time. This will be discussed individually with each client when booking.
I currently offer pregnancy massage from the start of the second trimester through to birth and postnatal massage is a perfect way to continue the mother’s care after the baby has been born.
Treatments are carried out in a side-lying position either on a traditional massage bed for those who are in the earlier stages of pregnancy or, for most clients, on a massage futon on the floor. The futon provides ample space to get comfortable, using pillows to support the legs and bump where necessary and to ensure the client is comfortable throughout the treatment. The massage futon is used for all mobile pregnancy massage treatments.